Trucks heroes return to the track!
Where: Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria
When: 13-14th May
Click HERE for the full timetable
It has been a long winter break but this weekend the trucking titans of motorsport return!
The 2017 FIA European Truck Racing Championship is back and the early indications are that it will be a vintage year of super close action.
With two champions returning; another seeking a record breaking fifth title; and at least two other potential title challengers in the mix, there are many storylines to savour this season.
Can Hahn make it an historic fifth ?
Jochen Hahn is riding high on the crest of his fourth title wave as the season gets ready to begin. The German has an all-new IVECO truck to try and re-write the FIA ETRC record books in perhaps his greatest challenge yet.
After successful tests at Most and Slovakiaring, Hahn has started the new phase of his career with a new manufacturer strongly, but the great German champion knows that the opposition will be gunning for him in 2017.
Hahn and his Hahn Racing concern have joined forces with IVECO and the Schwaben-Truck squad which runs Gerd Körber and local ace Markus Altenstrasser in a powerful new alliance which is sure to see more trophies collected throughout 2017.
Hahn and Körber will also pair-up in the Teams’ Championship under the banner of Die Bullen Von IVECO Magirus (the IVECO Magirus bulls!)
Albacete and Vresecky return
Undoubtedly one of the stories of the season will be the return of triple champion Antonio Albacete.
The great Spaniard was forced to sit out 2016 but has found a new project with another former champion – Lutz Bernau.
Albacete has shown good pace in testing and is sure to be a threat throughout the season in his red and white Truck Sport Bernau MAN challenger.
Check out how Antonio is feeling ahead of the season by clicking HERE
David Vršecký also makes a welcome return to the FIA ETRC paddock after a season away. The Czech driver, who took the 2008 and 2009 titles, comes back home to Buggyra International Racing System but will skip the Red Bull Ring opener this weekend.
In Vršecký’s place at Red Bull Ring will comes rookie Alen Draganovic who is keen to carve out a long-term career in the FIA ETRC. The Slovenian will make his debut this weekend and will be aiming to get in to the points in his first appearance.
Vršecký’s teammate at Buggyra is Adam Lacko, who will be as motivated as he ever has been to try and take his first title after coming so close several times in the past.
Lacko was runner-up in 2016 after his best ever season, but despite a superb strike rate of 13 race wins, the Czech driver still lost out to his great rival Hahn for title glory.
Closer field than ever in 2017
2016 race winner Norbert Kiss stays on at Tankpool24 Racing after some encouraging results last season with the Mercedes-Benz which essentially went through a development year last season.
The double FIA ETRC champion is confident that a variety of changes to his truck will see him back on the winners step more often this year.
Steffi Halm enjoyed a stellar 2016 campaign with three memorable victories and will return with a Reinert Racing run MAN. The popular German could be joined on occasion by Rene Reinert should his business commitments allow.
Ryan Smith will return to the scene of his breakthrough podium performance last year in the OXXO Energy Truck Race Team. Smith scored a superb podium in 2016 before going on to take a maiden win at Most last September.
Local hero Marcus Altenstrasser will be the clear home favourite as he pilots the #27 Schwaben-Truck IVECO and tries to follow up his excellent 2016 podium achievement on his home soil. Read his thoughts HERE
Sascha Lenz will be back for a full season and you can read his thoughts ahead of the 2017 campaign HERE
For the entry list please click HERE
New Promoter Cup announced
A brand new initiative for 2017 will see interest and intrigue throughout the grid with the implementation of the new Promoter’s Cup.
The likes of Andre Kursim, Eduardo Rodrigues, his son Jose Rodrigues and Dutch stalwart Erwin Kleinnagelvoort will be joined by rookie Terry Gibbon, who will be battling it out for honours in this exciting new initiative.
To get up to speed on the Promoter’s Cup click HERE for all the details -
What happened last season?
Race 1 winner: Jochen Hahn
Race 2 winner: Rene Reinert
Race 3 winner: Adam Lacko
Race 4 winner: Adam Lacko
Follow the action LIVE
As ever there will be various functions for fans to use in order to keep up to date with the action live from the track.
Live timing, the popular Truck Tracker live graphic and live text commentary from the track will keep you in the loop during all four races.
And of course you can see all the latest photos and videos at our popular Facebook page, just click HERE
FIA Volunteers Day
Motorsport wouldn't function as well as it does without the time and passion of the thousands of volunteers across the world. We salute their efforts and love for the sport by supporting FIA Volunteers Day.
Friday 12th May is the official FIA volunteers Day. Click HERE for more information